It's only Day Two and we can't remember how people made it through Cannes (and that's before they shaved a couple days off the schedule). But we have espresso and a big day ahead.
Ad Age and The Gun Safety Alliance co-host The Gun Safety Creative Challenge, an invite-only event gathering creative talent for a working session designed to inspire and provoke action. Two official sessions and undoubtedly some unofficial ones will take up blockchain in advertising. Omnicom Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany R. Warren will tackle the industry's inclusion gap with HP CMO Antonio Lucio, British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful and "Westworld" actress Thandie Newton. And Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun will talk about the company's Marcel project -- one year after he said Publicis would skip this Cannes to help pay for it.
Keep refreshing this live blog for the latest word on award winners (and the rest) and photos when words won't do justice.
Rarely do we get a chance to dig into the making of an Apple ad, but today we were fortunate enough to sit down with TBWA/MAL Chief Creative Officer Brent Anderson to talk about the brand's "Welcome Home" film directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA Twigs.. Bets are on that film will nab top prizes in craft, entertainment and film. It's even on the list of 25 campaigns in contention for Titanium. Why Titanium? Anderson explains.
-- Ann-Christine Diaz
It's been three years since Spotify announced it would move into video and, up until now, its efforts have been riddled with fits and starts. But perhaps its time has come.
The video streaming service, says Brian Benedik, VP, global head of advertising at Spotify, is being considered alongside video platforms like Twitter and YouTube by marketers making plans for next year's video investments.
"We're finding ourselves in conversations over the last six to 12 months alongside FEPs [full episode players] and getting invited to these video upfronts now that we have never got invited to before," says Benedik.
While Spotify did not host a NewFront event this year, Benedik says he attended several other presentations to get a feel for the format and potential value of hosting one in the future.
Spotify, however, has expanded its presence at Cannes this year, taking over a space on the beach where it's showing off its capabilities for music discovery, how advertisers can target specific audiences like moms, and its continued push into video.
Benedik says the complexion of his sales team now includes more sales leaders who have experience in video and data.
The platform began implementing six-second video ads last month and Benedik says the format could be extended to audio in the future.
"The audio ad unit hasn't seen any innovation in the last 80 years, so we feel we need to disrupt it," he says.
Spotify is also working on how to monetize podcasts, a growing part of its business. Currently, a bulk of the advertising that takes place in podcasts involves a host reading advertiser copy. "The problem is, it's not scalable," Benedik says, adding that it makes it hard for large, multinational brands to buy in.
One way to do this is by bringing dynamic ad insertion—the ability to swap out ads—to podcasts. But first, Benedik says, the priority is getting its podcast library organized and making it easier for users to discover the content.
-- Jeanine Poggi
Slipping in just before Facebook Beach closed for the day (not counting a VIP party), we were able to visit "Storyscape," a 360-degree experience created by the artist Es Devlin to promote Instagram. Devlin has built staging for Beyoncé's Formation tour, Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne tour, and "Otello" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, among a lot of other striking work. "Storyscape," which Devlin first built in London and then installed over three days in Cannes, gives a dynamic history of storytelling so immersive and enjoyable that you'll forget, for a moment, the controversial issues being raised by social media usage and just enjoy its power.
-- Nat Ives
I walked by a fellow gesticulating vehemently to his friends as they walked the Croisette. This is what he said before he was out of earshot:
"She doesn't understand, it's not one or the other! If you don't feed the top of the funnel..."
READER, WHAT DID HE SAY NEXT?
-- Brian Braiker
Today R/GA's Dave Edwards catches up with John Matejczyk, co-founder of Muhtayzik Hoffer, and offers up a little trivia along with the weather.
What are those colored banners donning the Carlton? The simple swaths of fabric ranging in colors from blue to pink are advertising something called The Relevance Conference. It's an invite-only AT&T-hosted event that will take place in Santa Barbara, California, this fall. It will bring together 250 agency and brand executives to discuss what's relevant to consumers and how to acknowledge what might be relevant to one person might not be to another.
-- Jeanine Poggi
The persistent lack of inclusion in advertising and marketing can make panels about diversity sometimes rueful or even painful, but the long line for Tuesday's session on the subject at least demonstrated continued interest.
The actress Thandie Newton of "Westworld" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" was clearly part of the draw, but the audience clapped enthusiastically for the other panelists as well, at their introduction and at points throughout: Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief at British Vogue; Tiffany R. Warren, senior VP and chief diversity officer at Omnicom Group; and HP Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio, who has been pushing agencies to diversify their teams on HP's account.
There is actual progress to celebrate, the panelists said. "I've seen 3 decades of change," Newton said. "When I started out it was me, Halle Berry and Naomi Campbell who I would see often at casting calls. In the end it's about demand."
But Warren said she isn't in any danger of succeeding her way out of a job. "I'm not happy," she said. "I'm content, but not happy."
Too often people rely on individuals to make change, Warren added. "Progress is made when every single person sort of stands up and says 'I'm going to do my part.'"
"We're all doing our best," Enninful said, citing his project to depict a wide variety of people in his magazine, "but it will never be enough."
-- Nat Ives
Ogilvy's worldwide co-chairman and chief creative officer, Tham Khai Meng, announced that the agency plans to hire 20 senior women in creative positions globally by the end of 2020, and will partner with the 3% Movement to create and monitor benchmarks for employee satisfaction. The WPP agency gathered a group of 25 at The Carlton late Monday afternoon to discuss diversity and gender equality in the industry -- sitting in a circle and passing a microphone around to share stories and strategies. Ogilvy also plans to develop a pipeline for women of color in senior roles, with the goal of making new hires over the next 24 months.
-- Megan Graham
Google is preparing to introduce a self-service tool that makes it easier for marketers to manage their brand safety risks in media buys on its platforms, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The tool is designed to help marketers see and manage the tradeoff between the brand-safety risk of ads appearing alongside inappropriate content against the size of the potential inventory pool (which has a corresponding impact on cost), according to this person.
The effort was expected to be discussed in a Cannes panel discussion involving Google and Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed. Representatives of Google and Unilever couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
-- Jack Neff
Vox Media hosted its annual, typically swank Cannes dinner party on Monday night, this year at Villa Alang Alang, a luxurious house nestled in the hills far above the hoi polloi walking the Croisette. (There was much speculation about just whose house it was, with an F1 race car driver among the most popular theories. Vox Media Chief Creative Officer Lindsay Nelson said she wasn't sure herself.) The well-curated guest list included NBA CMO Pam El, Hulu ad sales chief Peter Naylor, MDC CEO Scott Kauffman, Index Exchange CEO Andrew Casale, Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel, plus representatives of Uber, WeWork, Bustle, Carat, McKinsey, MediaLink and many others. Hours later, crowds back on the Croisette got loud outside the Carlton and Gutter Bar, not entirely heeding Cannes vets' advice to take it easy on the first night.
-- Nat Ives